Important Aspects of Buddha’s Teachings
The Four Noble Truths
Everyone in life is subject to suffering and frustration. ‘The cause of this suffering and disease is desire ‘ craving, lust, attachment to people and things, even to life itself. To escape from suffering, humans must liberate themselves from all desire and craving, and break all the chains of attachment. The way to do this is by following the Noble Eight-fold Path is alone can lead to nirvana, the ultimate goal of all Buddhist teaching.
The Noble Eight-fold Path
- Right belief: recognition and understanding of the Four Noble Truths
- Right intention: single-minded pursuit of the goal, which becomes the aim of the disciple this his aim
- Right speech: watching one’s words and seeking to avoid deceptive and uncharitable speech, idle chatter and gossip
- Right action: avoidance of wrongdoing; behaviour to be motivated by selflessness and charity
- Right livelihood: not following an occupation which would cause harm to other beings
- Right effort: patient striving to prevent and eliminate evil impulses and to foster and develop good ones
- Right mindfulness: seeking self-awareness through steady attention to thoughts, feelings and actions
- Right concentration: combines with right effort and right mindfulness in the spiritual discipline which enables the disciple to overcome all that holds him back in his search for nirvana Buddhist Schools.
The two main divisions of Buddhism are Theravada ‘Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism
One of the most important Mahayana sutras for a new conception of the Buddha was the Lotus Sutra (Saddharmapundarika-sutra), in which the Buddha denies that he left the royal palace in search of freedom from suffering and that he found that freedom six years later while meditating under a tree. He explains instead that he achieved enlightenment innumerable billions of aeons ago and has been preaching the dharma in this world and simultaneously in myriad other worlds ever since. Because his life span is inconceivable to ordinary humans, he has resorted to the use of adroit methods pretending to renounce his princely life, practice austerities, and attain unsurpassed enlightenment. In fact, he was enlightened all the while yet contrived these deeds to inspire the world. In the same way, the Buddha pretends to enter nirvana to create a sense of urgency in his disciples even though his life span is limitless.
A key concept in Buddhism is nirvana. There are different aspects of the concept of nirvana.
- Nirvana is the negation of attachment and suffering.
- Nirvana is the one thing that is not caused by anything else.
- Nirvana as the Absolute Truth cannot be adequately expressed in words.
- However, the term (nirvana) implies that there is a goal to be reached and that this goal surpasses anything experienced in this world of conventional understanding.